When Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) sat down with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” Wednesday night, the conversation turned to the topic dominating the presidential campaign at the moment: replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court.
And it got a little heated.
Should Kasich become president, Colbert asked, and a Supreme Court seat becomes open with 330 days of his term left, would Kasich look at the Constitution, see the words “the president shall,” and go “maybe later?”
While the audience roared, Kasich, like many other Republicans, told Colbert that we should wait until the next election to nominate a replacement for the court.
To which Colbert fired back, “We had an election. We had an election in 2012.”
“All I’m saying is, is it’s an opportunity for people to, number one, vote for president, and also have a say on who’s going to be on the Supreme Court,” Kasich replied.
“So if you were President, you were President Obama, you would say ‘I will not appoint anyone?'” Colbert challenged.
Kasich deflected the question, and told Colbert that if he were president, “We’re not going to have this division … I’m going to spend my time building bridges so that we can grow this economy.”
“Let me get this right,” Colbert continued. “You said the president should not appoint anybody unless they could be unanimously approved.”
A visibly frustrated Kasich said, “Stephen, look … I’m talking about somebody where the overwhelming consensus that says that’s the person we want … And that isn’t going to happen now.”
Colbert countered, saying that there isn’t even going to be a consensus about the next president, let alone a Supreme Court nominee.
“Look you’re going to have an election now in before we know it in the blink of an eye,” Kasich said. “Then that person who’s elected president, will have the confirmation to be able to appoint who they want. And I think that will be a more orderly, less political fight than what we’re seeing now.”
“You don’t think that presently exists in the Constitution, when it says the president shall appoint?” Colbert asked him. Later, Colbert added, “It doesn’t say the president can do it if it’s not his last year. It says the ‘president shall …'”
Kasich responded by saying that he’s “tired of all the fighting down there.”
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